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Fatigue is a Key Factor in Truck Accidents

Being injured in any type of traffic accident can have life altering consequences. However, when a semi-truck causes the accident the consequences are often much worse. Because of the size of these vehicles, truck accidents often result in more serious injuries and are more likely to result in deaths. One of the key factors that too often plays a role in these accidents is driver fatigue.

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Wal-Mart Settles Claim of Comedian Killed by Allegedly Fatigued Truck Driver

As many are aware, last summer a crash involving a semi-truck on the New Jersey Turnpike severely injured television star and comedian Tracy Morgan and killed his fellow comedian and friend James McNair. Two other passengers also suffered serious injuries. Allegations in a criminal case pending against the Wal-Mart truck driver who allegedly caused the accident state that he was operating his truck without having slept for more than 24 hours. The Las Vegas Sun reports that Wal-Mart has reached a settlement agreement with members of Mr. McNair’s family. Lawsuits filed by the other victims in the suit, including Mr. Morgan, are still pending.

How Common are Semi-truck Accidents?

The type of accident that killed Mr. McNair and injured the others including Mr. Morgan are all too common. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 3,921 people were killed and 104,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2012. Of the people killed in these accidents, 73% of the were occupants of other vehicles, not the large trucks. Another 10% of the victims were not occupants of any vehicle but were instead people like pedestrians and bicyclists.

What are Characteristics of Crashes Specifically Involving Drowsy Drivers?

When crashes are caused by something like driving while intoxicated, a simple blood or breath test can determine that the driver at fault was impaired. It can be more difficult to identify crashes caused by drowsy drivers. However, NHTSA has determined that certain characteristics tend to correspond with this sort of accident, making them possible to identify. This factors include:

  • Drowsy driving usually occurs late at night. This risk of crashes related to driver sleepiness peaks at night, especially for drivers under the age of 45. However, due to circadian cycles, drivers over age 65 actually peak in the mid-afternoon.
  • These accidents are likely to be serious. These accidents are usually serious, perhaps because drivers fall asleep while traveling at high rates of speed.
  • These crashes often occur on high speed roads. This may be in part because more long distance driving, and thus more overnight and tired driving, occurs on highways.
  • The driver does not attempt to avoid crashing. Even if a driver does not completely fall asleep, sleepy drivers are less likely to react than alert drivers and attempt to avoid the accident.
  • The driver is often alone. This makes sense, since solo drivers have no one to switch with, have no one to keep them awake, and have no one to notice that they are nodding off and force them to stop driving.

Call Naqvi Injury Law

When you or someone you love is injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Because truck accidents involve regulations and factors that do not come into play in regular traffic accidents, you will need the help of an experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney. You should call Naqvi Injury Law. When you call us at (702)553-1000 we can schedule a free consultation to go over the facts of your case and see what we can do to help.